Dordogne towns and villages | Quality Villas

dordogne towns and villages

Journeying through the south-west of France for almost 500
kilometres, the Dordogne is one of the most famous rivers in France, and sets the
scene for some of our memorable French chateau holidays.

Extending from the
mountains of the Massif Central before joining the Garonne river and entering
the Atlantic Ocean near Bordeaux, it not only passes through the Dordogne
region but also through the Auvergne, Limousin and the Midi-Pyrenees regions
past a variety of stunning scenery.

During its journey to the sea, the character of the river
changes vastly, though in this post we will reveal what you can discover when
you journey through the Dordogne region itself.


Though Sarlat is not strictly on the course of the river, it
is one of the most beautiful medieval towns in all of France, and is definitely
not to be missed. Officially listed as a Town of Art and History, the town is
home to more than 250 listed buildings from the 15th and 16th
centuries, meaning you are sure to discover some stunning architecture in both
medieval and renaissance styles. The most well-known landmarks in the town
include the cathedral, with various features constructed across the centuries,
the Place de la Liberté, surrounded by townhouses, and the Manoir de Gisson, a 13th
century townhouse open to the public.


Bergerac is one of the largest cities in the region and with
its own airport, it’s likely to be one of the first places you see when you
arrive in the Dordogne. The city is split into the old town and the new town,
with the old town home to some pretty medieval arcades as well of statues of
Cyrano de Bergerac dotted throughout. In the new town, you’ll find a variety of
shops, boutiques and cafes, and a lively market is held each Saturday.


Classified as one of the ‘beautiful villages of France’,
Limeuil is where the Dordogne river meets the Vezere. Two stone bridges cross
the river at the edge of the village, setting the scene for the rest of the
beauty you’ll find beside the river here. Limeuil is home to a river beach
where you can enjoy the glorious sunshine, as well as some pretty formal
gardens and a charming village centre, lined with cobbled street.


Located to the east of Bergerac is Tremolat, decorated with
old stone buildings. Wandering around the village itself is a delight, though
there are two main features to look out for: the 12th century Church
of St Nicholas and a second smaller 12th century church on the edge
of the village. Two kilometres west of the village lies the Cingle de Tremolat,
which offers some incredible far-reaching views out across the Dordogne.


Libourne is one of the last places the Dordogne river passes
through, and is often unfortunately overlooked by visitors in favour of
Bordeaux to the west. At the heart of the town is the Place Abel-Surchamp,
which is surrounded by grand 16th century merchant houses as well as
the town hall. There’s some other interesting landmarks to find as you explore
the town centre, such as the impressive Tour de Grand Port, part of the
original gateway to the town, and the Church of St Jean, with its exquisitely
carved entrance. The Museum of Fine Arts also houses a beautiful collection of
paintings and is well worth a visit.

Image: Edwin van Buuringen,
available under Creative Commons 2.0

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